Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Syllabus: This Is How It All Went Down: Documentaries


Let's Get Lost, directed by Bruce Weber
The Untold Story of Louis Emmet Till, directed by Keith Beauchamp
The Business of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein
Grey Gardens, directed by Albert & David Maysles & Ellen Hovde
Be Here to Love Me, directed by Margaret Brown
The Up Series: 21, 28, and Michael Apted's director's commentary for 35
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. MacNamara, directed by Errol Morris
4 Little Girls and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, directed by Spike Lee
To Be and to Have, directed by Nicolas Philibert
Our Daily Bread, directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Harlan County USA, directed by Barbara Kopple
Grizzly Man, directed by Werner Herzog
New York: A Documentary Film, directed by Ric Burns
Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story, directed by Michael Moore 
Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids, directed by Zana Briski & Ross Kauffman
The Civil War, first disc, directed by Ken Burns
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, directed by Alex Gibney
American Blackout, directed by Ian Inaba
Monumental: David Browers' Fight for Wild America, directed by Kelly Duane
In the Realms of the Unreal, directed by Jessica Yu

Field Trip:

IMAX! The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, directed by George Butler

Course Objectives:

Is a documentary truth or is truth truth. What is a documentary supposed to do. What about the living. Who's lens is this anyway. Documentary v. biopic: discuss. Say what you want to about politics, but you can't deny the footage in American Blackout. Do you feel lied to by the media yet. How come most documentaries about women are about porn stars. Sorry this list is so America-centric. How to present a controversial subject or person. Perpetuating myths: telling someone's life from all sides. What does it mean to tell the story from all sides. Getting in there deep: why Let's Get Lost sets the standard. How to get people talking. Can you publish everything they say. If given the chance, what would you make a documentary about. What do you do when you uncover something mid-film, change course. What did every documentary begin with, as. You can do all the extra credit you want. 

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